Roots: The Saga of an American Family

by Alex Haley

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What problem comes with freedom?

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The original question had to be edited down.  I sense that Haley's work is such a stinging condemnation of slavery that there is not a postmodern embrace of problems that accompany freedom.  The condition of slavery is so bad that freedom becomes its own intrinsic good.  There is a resounding statement that freedom is intrinsically good primarily because slavery is so dehumanizing.  It is here where I think that the problems that could accompany with freedom are not as evident.  On a smaller level, there might be an assertion that a problem with freedom and its use over time is how individuals might forget about their past.  Alex Haley becomes a character in his own narrative as he goes back to recreate and conceptualize his own past.  However, I don't see this as something that would constitute a rejection of freedom or an assertion that there are problems with it.  Haley's work speaks to how freedom has to be seen as a human right, especially when the institution of slavery did enough to deny it.  In suggesting the clear case for its own notion of the good, Haley's work speaks to how problems with freedom are secondary to ensuring that one has it.

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